"There is a need to diversify our commercial relations and we must seek to cooperate in other commercial and investment areas, such as agriculture, food industry, information technology, mineral resources, health and the pharmaceutical sector, there are several areas with ample opportunities and where countries can complement each other, "India's ambassador to Angola, Pratibha Parkar, told Lusa.
Diamonds are one of the areas in which both countries can benefit from closer relations, with Angola being the third largest producer in Africa of gems and India the world leader in the cutting industry.
In December, institutional representatives and businessmen from both countries met in a virtual meeting, which the diplomat considered "very successful", arousing great interest between the two parties.
Following the event, Pratibha Parkar has already met with the Minister of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas, Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, and the president of the state diamond company (Endiama), Ganga Júnior to find out about the opportunities and facilities available.
"I know that the Angolan government has adopted several measures to boost the sector, they are planning to launch a stock exchange by the end of the year, there is a special economic zone to be developed to make it easier for companies that want to invest in these areas and simplify regulations and Therefore, we have also informed our entrepreneurs about these developments ", he stressed.
Currently, although there is no direct diamond trade between India and Angola, since most of them go to Dubai, the final destination is India for cutting and polishing, added the diplomat.
In 2019/2020, Indian imports of rough diamonds from Angola amounted to US $ 6.01 million, a potential that Pratibha Parkar believes can be developed: "The only thing we need is to bring Indian companies here and encourage to invest in this area ", making the business relationship" more profitable and fruitful for both parties ".
Currently, trade relations with India amount to US $ 4 billion, of which 3.7 million correspond to Angola's exports to the Asian country, 90% of which related to oil.
"India and Angola have maintained very cordial bilateral relations, since the height of the independence of the African country, whose liberation struggle was supported by India," said the ambassador, stressing that both parties intend to continue bilateral visits, which it was made unfeasible in more recent times due to covid-19.
Currently, 65 Indian companies operate in Angola, mainly from the retail and food industry sectors, but Pratibha Parkar also stressed that there is interest from Indian investors in agriculture, pharmaceuticals and infrastructures.
The Indian community, made up of about 6000 people, is growing. Many work in the oil sector and others are businessmen in the area of trade, said the Indian ambassador.